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Vikings Use Team Effort for Key 51-47 Region 7-A Win Against Tattnall Square

MACON, Ga. – FPD head boys basketball coach Michael Walton didn’t like what he saw last weekend from his Vikings despite two wins, one a region victory over Mount de Sales and the other seson-series victory over Brookstone.

He knew his Vikings could play better, especially down the stretch, when teams began to make late runs and his squad would have to hold on for victory.

Consider those thoughts squashed for the moment as the Vikings (10-4, 3-1 Reg. 7-A) upset the Tattnall Square Academy Trojans (11-4, 1-2 Reg. 7-A) 51-47 on Tuesday night at Coach Mac’s Court at the Middlebrooks Athletic Center.

It marks FPD’s first win against Tattnall in the GHSA era of play and snaps an 11-game losing streak to the Trojans dating back to the GISA days of play.

“I’m just so proud of our guys tonight,” Walton said. “This was a total team effort and this is what I and everyone was looking for.”

What exactly was it? Walton wanted to see his guys grow up, despite still being a relatively youthful club.

“We definitely grew up tonight as a team and our coaching staff issued that challenge to them at Monday’s practice,” Walton said. “We did that tonight from the opening tip to the final shot. I’m so proud of the way the kids responded. All the credit goes to them.”

FPD trailed 11-9 at the end of the first quarter but went on a 16-10 run in the second quarter for a 25-21 advantage at intermission.

“I knew the third quarter would set the tone of how we would play the rest of the game,” Walton said. “But our guys came out mentally focused and weathered a few runs from Tattnall. There were times when they took the lead from us, but we acted like a veteran team in those situations and responded with buckets of our own.”

Both teams traded buckets in the second half for a 26-26 draw, sending FPD into the win win column.

Armaun Smith led the Vikings with 15 points while Champ Dawson and Beck Muse scored 12 and 11, respectively.

“Tattnall has a great team and Coach (Jarvis) Smith is a close friend of mine,” Walton said. “They run their stuff really good and are a dangerous team. But our guys decided to grow up tonight and I can’t say enough of how proud I am of them.”

The Trojans had two players in double figures. Calvin Slaughter finished with a game-high 16 points while Aubrien Kemp totaled 15.

FPD out-shot the Trojans 19-9 from 2-point range but were out-done from behind the arc 7-2 by Tattnall.

The Vikings finished at 7-of-13 from the free throw line while the Trojans were 8-of-13.

“We’ll enjoy this one. I hope our guys know what they’re capable of when they play like they did tonight.” Walton said. “But we also know that we have two more important ones this week. We’ll have to play like we did tonight to finish the week out strong.”

The Vikings return to the hardwood on Friday, Jan. 15, hosting the Wilkinson County Warriors from Iriwnton, Ga.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Middlebrooks Athletic Center.

The First Presbyterian Day School Department of Athletics strives to build the student athlete both in the playing arena and the classroom while upholding the school’s mission statement to educate and equip students to change the world for God’s glory. For more information, visit www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by following the Vikings on Twitter at @FPDVikingSports and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fpdathletics.

BOX SCORE:

FPD 51, TATTNALL 47

TSA 11-10-8-18 — 47
FPD 9-16-8-18 — 51

Tattnall: Calvin Slaughter 16, Aubrien Kemp 15, Zion Blasingame 6, Ahmad Barron 3, Sean Brown 3, Logan Simmons 2 Jimmy Marshall 2.

FPD: Armaun Smith 15, Champ Dawson 12, Beck Muse 11 Maurice Gordon 7, Henry Middlebrooks 3, Jacob Oates 2, Caleb Kelly 1.

3-pointers: Tattnall 7 (Slaughter 3, Kemp 2, Blasingame 2); FPD 2 (Gordon 1, Middlebrooks 1).

Records: FPD 10-4, 3-1 Reg. 7-A; Tattnall 11-4, 1-2 Reg. 7-A.

Next: Wilkinson County at FPD, 7:30 p.m., Friday.